Workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation
Can an employment lawsuit be based on the premise that discrimination based on sexual orientation is a Title VII violation under the Civil Rights Act of 1964?
On Feb. 26, 2018, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals said in a 10-3 decision in Zarda v. Altitude Express Inc. that sexual orientation discrimination constitutes a form of discrimination “because of . . . sex,” in violation of Title VII.
Some legal experts have predicted that the case might eventually make its way to the Supreme Court. Last April, the Seventh Circuit ruled in a separate case that Title VII could be applied to a similar workplace situation. But the Supreme Court passed on a third case, out of Georgia, that dealt with the same issue.
Joining us on this podcast are two experts with different takes on this question.
John Eastman is Henry Salvatori Professor of Law and Community Service
and Former Dean at Chapman University Law School. He is also the Director of the University’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence.
Suzanne Goldberg is Herbert and Doris Wechsler Clinical Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, where she also directs the Law School’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law and its Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic.
Jeffrey Rosen is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Constitution Center, the only institution in America chartered by Congress “to disseminate information about the United States Constitution on a nonpartisan basis.” He is also a professor at The George Washington University Law School, and a contributing editor for The Atlantic.
Related Decisions and Documents
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, (42 U.S.C. § 2000e)
- EEOC decision in Baldwin v. Dep't of Transportation, EEOC Appeal No. 0120133080, July 15, 2015
- Opinion in Zarda v. Altitude Express (2nd Cir. 2018), decided February 26, 2018
- Opinion in Hiveley v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana (7th Cir. 2017), decided April 4, 2017
- Opinion in Evans v. Georgia Regional Hosp. (11th Cir. 2017), decided March 10, 2017
- Opinion in Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Servs. 523 US 75 (1998), U.S. Supreme Court, decided May 4, 1998
- Opinion in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 US 228 (1989), U.S. Supreme Court, decided May 1, 1989
- Opinion in Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, 477 US 57 (1986), U.S. Supreme Court, decided June 19, 1986
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